Making choices is such an important part of navigating your way through your day, life and journey. Every single day from the moment we open our eyes to the moment we drift off to sleep our existence and outcomes are filled with choices. So often we are not aware and fully present in our decisions and choices, we are not aware of the impact our choices and decisions will have not only on our present but also for our future selves.
There had been one experience in particular that had such a profound impact on my life I still remember this experience to this day.
I remember during my last year in high school, grade 12 in the year 2000, what a year it has been. I had met and made incredible friendships along my high school journey. During the school year my friends were mapping out what they wanted to do after school, what they wanted to become and where they were going to study. At this time I had already been working on weekends at a retail store.
On the last day of high school, the final day had arrived; I was excited and scared of the unknown. As my friends and I were standing around in our group everyone commented on what they are going to do. Most of my friends were off to University, I must admit I was little envious that I could not attend University straight away as they could. I mentioned that I was going back to work in retail until I had saved enough money to put myself through collage. The girls went on to talk about how they were going to meet up with one another on campus and hang out. I remember feeling defeated and down in the dumps. As we said goodbye and I looked back at my high school gates, I thought to myself this is it, wow! I had taken a taxi to a place in Cape Town called V & A Waterfront. I walked into my favourite bookstore facing the harbor and I sat in silence. So many thoughts were racing through my mind, anything from what if to if I had and so on. I was in a sorry state, feeling down. As I finished sipping my tea, I walked back into the bookstore. As I walked through the isles I accidently knocked into a bookshelf and hit a book right off the shelf. I thought to myself, thoughts to the likes of “Oh can this day get any worse”. As I reached down I picked up this book called The Power Of Positive Thinking By Norman Vincent Peale. I read the description and I had to purchase a copy straight away! Yes readers this book changed my life. I remember reading through this masterpiece and it talked about choices, negative thought forms and limiting behaviours. I had no idea what personal development and self-improvement was at the time; this was foreign territory to me. I read this book from cover to cover, page by page, and I turned my thought patterns and limiting self talk around. I challenged myself and challenged my negative self-talk.
I believed that every experience good and bad comes down to our choices and how we can turn things around, if we are open to exploring another way. I had worked in the retail sector for a while saving my money for my certificate course in Marketing Management at Damelin College in Cape Town. I then applied this knowledge to my existing job managing the lingerie and sleepwear department. I was excited about putting my new learnt skillsets to the test. I had never seen a retail event held at the time to promote and showcase the amazing stock in our store. Having met incredible customers who I had built a wonderful relationship with I asked my customers if they would be interested in being apart of a lingerie and sleepwear event and they said yes. I had put the event proposal forward to my managers and with hesitation, as this was unfamiliar, they said yes, we trust you and how you had increased the department numbers, let’s go ahead with your idea. I was so grateful for their faith and trust in me. The event was a major success, with sales skyrocketing and customers excited about the stock being showcased on the night. We had models, a runway, food our customers, giveaways and the atmosphere was so much fun and uplifting.
Needless to say my managers at store level knew who I was but not a head office level. My department became the highest grossing lingerie and sleepwear department in the whole of the Western Cape region. I went from being invisible to visible in the head office sector. I remember thinking to myself after many years of working in retail since high school. Learning through watching, making notes and the time having acquired my second certificate course in Public Relations Management I felt intuitively like I had come to the end of the retail road. I received a call from head office offering me a job within head office. I was thrilled and excited but at the same time I could not shake the feeling that my time in retail was over.
One of my colleagues mentioned to me that one of the Five Star Hotels in Cape Town was looking for a front desk manager. She mentioned why don’t you apply, you never know. I applied for the position and was shortlisted. I was interviewed and notified that I got the position. The story behind this job was almost spooky. The hotel overlooked the ocean, whilst driving to the hotel; this was the same ocean road I dreamt of as a little girl. I dreamt that it would be so amazing to work at a location overlooking the ocean. I dreamt that I would one day work at such an exclusive luxury location, wouldn’t that be fancy I thought. However if you had told me as a little girl that I would work in this location when I grow up I would say “no way” me. But I felt like something bigger was calling me to work at the hotel I didn’t know what that was at the time. This opportunity was incredible it allowed me to learn more about the hospitality industry and customer service in another industry.
The salary was great; I could save enough money for my diploma in Public Relations Management at Cape Peninsula University Of Technology. I knew that I wanted to use my voice to create and make a positive impact in the world. To use my creativity in a manner that would serve humanity. I always knew I was destined to do great things with my life and in the lives of others. I didn’t know how it would unfold but I believed it was there. I felt like the jobs I had in the past were building blocks contributing to the bigger picture and vision of my life.
I am so glad I trusted my gut instincts,I was blessed to travel the road I did. I believe that we are a result of our choices, that we have the power to choose how we navigate this journey. I also believe that our live speaks to us always in all ways.